New England

Bloomfield Headlines Dramatic JTT Sectionals

James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | August 19, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, MA – The more than 10-year wait is over for Coach Rostyk Datsko and Bloomfield Tennis Club (CT), as they captured the 2022 18U Intermediate New England Junior Team Tennis (JTT) New England Sectional Championship on Thursday at Forest Park in Springfield, MA.


Datsko, who last reached JTT Nationals in back-to-back years as a player in 2010 and 2011, led his Bloomfield Bobcats team to victory by outlasting the section’s five top teams over the two-day event.


“Ever since I made it to Nationals as a player, I’ve wanted to go back but as a coach, and this year it came together,” he said. “I wanted it so badly for the players. It was one of the best experiences of my childhood, so I knew how much it meant to all of them.”


The Bobcats, which featured brothers Nicholas and Brandon Hermes, Willow Assante-LaBash, Ren Barton, Alexander Hyams and Katie Driscoll, earned a spot at Sectionals by winning a spring JTT Qualifying event in Connecticut and then capturing the Connecticut State Title.


Following Wednesday’s Sectionals action, Bloomfield led Edgewood Pool and Tennis Club (MA) by just two games for the top position. The two teams found themselves locked in a battle when rain forced the match to resume indoors at Ludlow Tennis Club. But due to time constraints, the match did not finish until Thursday morning, with Edgewood ultimately coming away on top, 36-28, giving them a five-game overall lead.


Bloomfield buckled down in its final two matches, taking the maximum of 40 games from North Hampton (NH) and 39 from the Edge (VT), and with some help from Edgewood’s final two opponents, they were able to reclaim the lead and hold on for the victory.


“All the teams were great out there. The big match was with Edgewood, who beat us head-to-head, but the key is we got the games we needed against the other teams and made it close enough against them,” Datsko said. “I’ve been telling the kids all week, it’s about the games. Even if you lose head-to-head, you can still win overall. Playing teams like Edgewood and Grassroots brought the best out of them because they needed to step up to the plate, and they did, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”


Edgewood finished 5-0 in team matches, while Bloomfield went 4-1, however JTT determines standings by total games won, and Bloomfield held off Edgewood, 182-174 in that department.


Willow Assante-LaBash led the Bobcats by going 7-0 combined in girls’ singles, girls’ doubles and mixed matches, while Nicholas Hermes went 8-2 in boys’ singles and mixed dubs. Barton, Driscoll, Hyams and Brandon Hermes all finished with winning records.


“I don’t think I’ve been so nervous in my life,” Datsko added. “Our players knew what the goal was. We weren’t here to come in second place. They were keeping track of the score every match, and they’re so excited to be going to Nationals.”


Other top performers were: Brooklyn Bindas (Edgewood) - 8-1; Danial Wachira (Grassroots) - 8-2; Naomi Wachira (Grassroots) - 7-2; Kailish Chari (Edgewood) - 6-0; Callie Smith (Edgewood) - 5-0; Dyllon Litmanovich (Edgewood) - 5-0.


Driscoll earned the Girls’ Sportsmanship Award while Sippican’s William Vrattos took home the boys’ honors.


Final 18U standings:


1. Bloomfield (CT) - 182

2. Edgewood (MA) - 174

3. Grassroots (CT) - 143

4. The Edge (VT) - 105

5. New Hampton (NH) - 96

6. Sippican (MA) - 84


Joining Bloomfield at Nationals will be the 14U Intermediate team from Milford Indoor Tennis (CT). Coached by Frank Lorenzetti, Milford cruised past the Edge and Sippican on Wednesday to win its three-team flight played at Longmeadow High School.


Lorenzetti’s son Michael went 4-0 in boys’ singles and mixed doubles, while daughter Sofia went 2-0 in girls’ doubles. Milford also featured sisters Paige and Elle Seaver, who finished a combined 5-1. The team of Kenaitz Mendibe and Riggs Moran added two more wins in boys’ doubles to close out the line.


Sippican’s Hal Field took home the Boys’ Sportsmanship Award, while the Edge’s Anna Dauerman won the award for the girls.


Final 14U standings:


1. Milford Indoor (CT) - 76

2. The Edge (VT) - 52

3. Sippican (MA) – 24


For full results, click here


Both Bloomfield and Milford will compete at Nationals from October 6-9 at USTA’s National Campus in Orlando, FL.


Wednesday also featured 12U and 10U Green and Orange Ball Invitationals. Teams competed in the co-ed tournament for New England supremacy. Grassroots Tennis took home the 12U title, while Milford won the 10U division.


Sportsmanship winners:


12U Boys - Evan Talmadge (Guilford)

12U Girls - Cora Hartig (Ellington)

10U Boys - Dean Valiquette (Milford)

10U Girls - Malak Elbahr (Grassroots)



Day 1 (Facebook)

Day 2 (Facebook)

Day 1, part 1 (Instagram)

Day 1, part 2 (Instagram)

Day 2, part 1 (Instagram)

Day 2, part 2 (Instagram)



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